Over the past decade, technology evolution coupled with changes in the workplace have transformed perceptions of small businesses and their customers toward permanent office space. While a physical office is a requisite for the needs of some small businesses, it no longer is a requirement for many. New startups are increasingly choosing virtual office strategies rather than signing leases for physical office locations. Further, small businesses with existing offices are giving up those locations in favor of virtual offices.
The “Pros” of the Virtual Office
There are certainly advantages to foregoing a permanent & physical home office. Below are a few of the more prevalent:
Overhead costs. A virtual office means there is no expensive office lease, utility payments, insurance, maintenance, or office furniture and equipment that come with a brick-and-mortar space. Depending on the location, office space in some locations is becoming virtually impossible to find, or the costs are prohibitively exorbitant. Even when the benefits of a physical office location are considered, the costs of the space often outweigh those.
Expanded talent pool. A physical office location requires commuting and restricts a company to recruiting within a specific area. Further, with the rise of millennial workers, which now comprise 50 percent of the workforce, there is growing interest in the workforce for greater flexibility. This next-generation workforce does not want to be chained to their desks and measured on when they arrive and leave for work. Rather, they want to be challenged with goals and objectives. A virtual office erases these geographic and demographic barriers.
Productivity.Without a daily commute, worker productivity actually increases. Two or three hours a day in commute time can quickly add up to weeks or months of productivity gains. Further, with “punching the clock” no longer a performance measurement, employees focus on goals and results, factors that are much greater areas of motivation.
Office administrator. With a physical office, an office administrator often is required. However, with a virtual office, this headcount is no longer needed. Less expensive—and better—alternatives exist for the virtual office such as Davinci Virtual Receptionists.
Answering the “Cons” of the Virtual Office
A quick search on Google comparing the pros and cons of a virtual office results in a list advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most-often cited disadvantages of a virtual office include:
Business location. Small businesses seek great professional office locations—both for their central office location as well as secondary/regional offices. But a physical office is not required to obtain these. With Davinci Virtual Office Solutions, small businesses have the choice of 1,000-plus killer professional business addresses across the United States and in over 30 countries worldwide.
Prospects and customer meetings. First impressions do matter. For small businesses that have face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers, it is important that those meetings occur in locations commensurate with desired brand experience. This includes everything from a meeting/lobby greeter, to a professional conference space with top-notch equipment and accoutrements, to a business address that can up-scale a company’s brand. Check out our recent blog “8 Things that Can Go Wrong When Hosting a Customer Meeting” for more details.
Great prospect and customer meetings can still occur without needing to rent a physical office. With Davinci Meeting Rooms, small businesses have a selection of more than 4,000 meeting room locations for prospect and customer meetings. For those small businesses entertaining other options such as hotel meeting space and local coffee shops, think again. Hotel meeting space is as much as 50 percent more expensive, and coffee shops and other public locations present numerous meeting challenges in addition to lack of privacy, resulting in subpar experiences for all participants.
Team collaboration/building. Social interaction and collaborative problem-solving and brainstorming occurs better in person. This does not necessitate a permanent physical office space. Rather, small businesses can reserve professional office space for everything from weekly staff meetings, to quarterly all-hands meetings, to board meetings and senior leadership retreats, to product development collaboration sessions.
As with prospect and customer meetings, options exist beyond signing an expensive, inflexible physical office lease. Specifically, with Davinci Meeting Rooms, small businesses have the flexibility to hold team meetings where and when they want. Check out our recent blog post “11 Ways to Use Virtual Meeting Rooms” for more ideas on how small businesses can leverage meeting virtual meeting rooms.
Professional human touch. Many small businesses that have permanent physical offices opt to hire office receptionists. This human touch is important for a number of reasons. First impressions and experience counts for prospects and customers. Having a receptionist who ensures prospects and customers receive a professional greeting upon arrival and moreover answers all of their questions and provides administrative support is important.
We are proud to say that you have nothing to worry about when it comes to this part. Professional lobby greeters come with Davinci Meeting Rooms, welcoming prospects, customers, partners, and employees to the meeting location and providing them with administrative support throughout the meeting.
Davinci Virtual Office Solutions
Small businesses have the ability to look and act just like a large company when they rely on Davinci Virtual Office Solutions. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions include over 1,000 global business addresses you can use for your business, as well as live receptionist services to assist with your communication needs. Davinci Meeting Rooms offer over 4,000 meeting rooms in 1,000 locations worldwide that are fully equipped with the latest technologies and presentation tools. All meeting rooms include a lobby greeter, who helps ensure that attendees have a great first impression and provides assistance when additional services are needed (e.g., fax, mailing, transcription, beverages, etc.).
Visit Davinci Virtual Office Solutions and Davinci Meeting Rooms for more information. Reserve a meeting room or secure a killer professional business address today. Or simply give us a call (1-888-863-3423) or chat with us.